Twenty years ago you could find comic books on news stands in bookstores, spinner racks in grocery stores and convenience marts, and even three packs in various toy and department stores. (I can pretty much tell you each and every place where I purchased all my individual issues.)
A lot’s changed since then.
Comic books are much harder to find. In fact, these days, you actually have to seek them out – either at a big book store or a LCS (local comic shop). And that’s really sad.
Mainstream comic books don’t sell the way they used to. A best-selling comic book sells on average in the 40,000 to 50,000 range these days. Twenty years ago, with numbers like that, the series would have been deemed a poor seller and cancelled.
What am I getting at?
I don’t claim to know the definitive answer for why floppy comic books aren’t as popular as they once were. I think distribution is probably one factor. Increased prices ($2.99 for a 24 page mainstream, mass produced comic) may have something to do with it, too. Another factor may be the increased popularity of trade paperbacks, which collect 6 or so consecutive issues into one book.
Please note: I don’t think COMICS are less popular than they used to be. Online comics, for example, are HUGE – and there is a sustainable market for purchasing printed comic material – even when you’re giving away the content for free on your website (like I do).
But I think the standard 24 page formatted serialized comic may be a dying breed…
What are your thoughts on the dwindling sales of comic books? Are comic “floppies” still viable, or are they on their way out? Do you buy and read comics? If you haven’t lately, why not?
Sound off in the comments below! :)